Presentation on theme: "Influences on Voting behaviour. Essay Questions To what extent does the media have the power to influence voters? Social class remains a major influence."— Presentation transcript:
Influences on Voting behaviour
Essay Questions To what extent does the media have the power to influence voters? Social class remains a major influence in elections. Discuss. To what extent are the factors that influence voting inter-related?
Background on Voting Behaviour Stability in voting patterns between 1945 – 1970 Domination by two parties. Third parties less than 10% vote share More votes for LibDems in the 1970s Voting patterns more volatile and less predictable - “partisan dealignment”
Social Class Class is the basis for all politics (Pulzer) A factor in voting patterns along with race, gender, age, the media, location and issues Traditionally, voters in classes A, B and C1 voted Conservative, while C2, D and E (working classes) voted Labour However, working class occupations were disappearing in the 1980s to be replaced by increasing middle classes Labour lost traditional working class support Conservatives and LibDems attracted more working class vote New Labour dropped some policies that appealed to the working class (nationalisation and union support) By 2001, only 9% of voters thought Labour working class party Social class is no longer reliable predictor of voting patterns
Age Conservatives popular among the over 50s; younger and first time voters vote Labour This trend has continued during the last 4 general elections Older voters more likely to be conservatives, whereas younger voters concerned with health and education Older voters less likely to change party alignment Issues affect different age groups - issues concerning the young most differ from general voting public Young voters are less likely to vote and less interested in politics. This could be the key to future elections.
Gender In the 1950s and 60s more men voted Labour and women Conservatives. WHY? By 2001 election, no significant gender difference In 2005, slightly more women than men voted Labour. Women were critical to Labour’s success as 38% of women voted Labour (Mori) School Gate Mum (new working class or professional middle class) is sought after by all the parties as she is very likely to vote However, some argue that gender appears not to have a significant effect on voting behaviour
Location Regional variations in voting patterns Conservatives dominate SE England; Labour strong in Midlands, Northern England and Scotland The North south divide has shifted further south as labour dominated London after 1997 Four party contest in Scotland Wales dominated by Labour SW England controlled by Cons, with labour in 3 rd. Geographical differences might be due to class loyalties – Labour is strongest where working class are concentrated (Central Belt, Scotland). Conservatives in affluent middle class areas.
Image / personality
Party affiliation Linked to ‘de-alignment’ theory ‘Floating voters’ have a significant impact on elections 13% of voters were undecided in the week before election in 2005; 36% were willing to change their mind Party affiliation is less important than influence of policies and leaders (personalities) Voters are increasingly likely to change their minds Other factors appear much more important